Get back to Tennessee’s rural roots and hear firsthand what it’s like to be a 21st-century farmer when you book a Rabbit Circle Rural American Farm Tour. Rabbit Circle’s founder, Jennifer Davis, was born and raised in the countryside of Robertson County. Now she connects individuals and groups of all sizes with the farmers who grow their food (as well as tobacco, indigo and hemp) and introduces them to the rich culture of farming communities. Rabbit Circle offers three standard tours that leave from Nashville, as well as the opportunity to design a custom tour focused on your specific interests. Read More More at Tennessee Home and Garden
I found this newspaper clipping while going through my Granny Head’s scrapbook. It dates from about 1930. Pictured is my Great Grandfather Raymond Head and his 4 children.
The caption under the first photos reads: ” A recently-bought flock of Montana ewes on the farm of Raymond Head, near Springfield, is inspected by county Agent Harmon Jones and Mr Heads son Robert. The sheep are expected to play a big part in making up the loss caused by dealing dark fired tobacco market;”
2019 is the first year that there will be an industrial hemp crop in Tennessee. A recent article in the Tennessean reads ” Faced with the decreasing profitability of tobacco and an expanding market of hemp products, some of Tennessee’s longtime tobacco farmers are abandoning the state’s traditional cash crop and embracing a lucrative but largely uncharted hemp industry.”
Another story from Forbes online reads. “How Hemp Is Giving Renewed Life To America’s Tobacco Farmers”
It seems as though there is an ongoing conversation with Black Patch tobacco farmers that’s lasted for well over 100 years. What will be the next big crop that replaces the income from tobacco?
Mary Frances Barbee Was born October 30 1844. She was 73 years, 3 months and 2 days old at the time of her death, February 1, 1918. She was a consistent member of Corinth Church for more than 40 years.
She was married to N.H. Hart, June 30, 1962. Of this union were born 11 children. Seven sons and 4 daughters, all now living, grown, married, settled members of the church.
On February 2, a short funeral service was conducted at the home by her pastor, Reverend Whitefield and concluded at the grave in the old Hart graveyard, where she was laid to rest. It was a touching and beautiful sight to watch six of her stalwart sons gently lower the lifeless body of their mother to the grave. She had lived to a good old age and died as she had lived, loved and honored by all who knew her. This is a short history of a good woman that has paid the last debt and gone to her reward.
I was asked to assist the preacher in the funeral service, but on account of the inclement weather did not get there, so will write about what I should have said, not as an obituary, but as a small tribute to her memory.
More that 70 years ago when I was not much more than a babe and about the time she was born, my father moved to but a little more than a mile from her father’s home. Here a real and pleasant acquaintance began that has lasted all these years since. She was a great favorite in school, and in fact with all who knew her.
Nearly 40 years ago I settled as a doctor in sight of her home. Some of her children had grown up and others were unborn. I watched the younger children grow up and attended any of them when sick and for almost all these years was the family physician, a relation, perhaps next the preacher, the most sacred.
A 3rdof a century ago, when I married her niece, who loved her almost as she loved her own mother, she became to me “Aunt Fannie” and I reverenced her almost as much as much as did my own dear aunts that went to their homes many years ago. There were 3 traits in Aunt Fannie’s character that I wish to mention her as predominating more I think than in any person I have known. They were industry, unselfishness, and appreciation. She always wanted to be doing something, wanted to be at work and to show her unselfishness at work for someone else.
First, of course, it was her family, her children; next her relations then her neighbors. I wish I could know how many of those have some little piece of her handwork as a keepsake, that they will now appreciate more now that she is gone. It mattered not how small and insignificant the present from her husband, children relatives or neighbors she showed keen appreciation of her countenance. Can you wonder that she loved everybody? Because everybody loved her. All these years I have known her I can call to mind now word about her but in praise.
She was the youngest daughter of a large family and survived them all except one brother, the youngest child of the family, who though living in a distant state, came often to see sister Fannie whom he adored.
A good woman has died, and may Heaven’s Blessings rest on those left behind.
Oak Lawn, Feb 2 1918 H.S.
In mid March, tobacco farmers around middle Tennessee start their crops in large floating greenhouse gardens. Tobacco seeds are tiny. They are about the size of a sesame seed. They have been the main cash crop around here for generations
My Granddaddy always said that tobacco was a 13 month a year crop. The plants spend 7 weeks in the green house, 90-120 days in the field, 6 weeks drying in the barn and another 3-4 months of stripping. Almost as soon as a farmer finishes one crop, they start gathering supplies and preparing for the next season. There isn’t much down on a farm. Every step counts.
We will show you around and introduce you to the local farmers and their traditions.
Jake from Nash a local instagram hero and his trusty people Jodi and Kelley took a private tour with Rabbit Circle out to the farm for dinner. We all enjoyed local favorites, Drunken Pig BBQ, prepared a smoked pork butt. Justin Dorris and his crew prepared the smoked meat in the traditional southern style of BBQ. They smoke their meat with the same slabs of wood that tobacco farms use to smoke the beloved “dark fire” tobacco . Nelson’s Green Bier Distillery, Black Horse Beer and Petri Cigars were also at the table. Petri cigars are made with a blend of local Robertson County Tobacco. Petri Italian cigars won the title Gold Medal Best Cigar at the Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915. The hardwood smoked pork and tobacco from the Black Patch are what legends and fine meals are made of.
Check out this 2013 article in the Robertson County Connection written by Rachel Swann
Robertson County tobacco heritage lives on through young farmers
The drive down Hwy 25 in Robertson County is often described as a scenic route this time of year. The soy beans are turning from bright green to a mustard yellow, telling farmers that harvest is near, the roads are lined with “Pumpkin Patch This Way” signs and the tobacco barns are full of hanging burley and smoking dark-fired plants.
On Saturday July 21, we hosted a custom tour for Edible Nashville’s Farm to table dinner. We picked up folks at the Noelle Hotel in Downtown Nashville and carried them out to to Turnbull Creek Farm in Bon Aqua, TN.
The beautiful farm is run by Tallahassee May, farmer and owner who also operates Fresh Harvest, the first online CSA in middle Tennessee.
We are happy to set up a customized tour for your group. We are happy to provided services via 4×4 trucks, helicopter, small plane or bus. Contact us directly to plan your trip. 971-400-6420
Check out the photos from the dinner on Edible Nashville